In March, Carlsmith Ball attorney Puananionaona "Onaona" P. Thoene was named chair of the Hawaii Environmental Council. The Hawaii Environmental Council is a volunteer group of
citizens that serve
s as a bridge between the public and numerous government entities, including the Hawaii State Legislature, state and county departments, the governor's office, and federal agencies.
Ms. Thoene is an associate at Carlsmith Ball, working in the firm's Real Estate practice, Environmental practice, and Business and Corporate practice. She focuses on land use and administrative law. In addition to holding a J.D. degree from the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, Ms. Thoene has earned certificates in environmental law and native Hawaiian law.
The roles of the Hawaii Environmental Council are to provide a platform for the public to give feedback on environmental concerns, and to promulgate rules aimed at a fair and balanced review process for development projects in Hawaii that are subject to HRS Chapter 343. The governor appoints members of the Hawaii Environmental Council and members are confirmed by the Hawaii State Senate.
"I am honored to serve as chair of the Environmental Council, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on many important initiatives, including updating the environmental impact statement rules," said Ms. Thoene. "It is not easy to balance priorities like conservation and development, but it is critically important for our state."